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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Kitchen Project

I loved my kitchen... cozy, with a feeling of warmth. But there was one problem. My family grew and the size of my kitchen did not. 6 very tall adult children, 6 grandchildren and 1 husband...there just wasn't room for everyone. 


So we decided to grow our kitchen too. I forgot to take a photo of my deck before, but you can see the footprint of the ripped out deck below. This is the new kitchen in progress....


And then there is the backyard. 

By moving the kitchen and deck farther into the backyard, the backyard shrank. Not only that, but I have large windows facing that direction. The cherry blossom trees are beautiful in Spring, and make a great barrier to the house when the tree is in bloom, but soon all leaves will fall. So I am planning to grow a wall of Ivy. First stage: set posts and put up wire.

A huger feat than one might think when you're afraid of heights.

Zoning rules says we can't have a fence higher than 6 feet, so I built an "Ivy holder" to block the house that is far too close to our property line. Now we'll see if I can get it to grow. Hopefully next year I can show you growth.

The backyard plan: A secret garden, courtyard. More to come after the remodel is done. The Ivy was  harvested from our daughter's yard. The area built up with good soil by two feet.

Now I have more to do. Half the exterior house to paint. A floor to tile, interior walls and ceiling to paint, a fireplace to build and counters to tile. 90% of my kitchen will be stone. When I say I'm doing it, means that I am physically doing it, myself. Delayed cabinets are causing a bit of a problem now, but we'll get there.

If anyone wants to know how to tile the fast and easy way... or how to work with slate, or tricks of working with stone building a fireplace, let me know. There is one way to learn, and that's by doing. The other way is to ask someone else who has done. I am the regular tool-time girl on my days off.

Enjoy your weekend. And hopefully we'll see you at BookFest

XO Karlene


  1. Wow! You keep yourself busy Karlene! That Tyvek home wrap is actually the view from my living room in Norway now, our neighbor is building a new house.

    I think your house and garden will turn out absolutely beautiful. We are redoing our garden now too. Chopping down trees, building a stonewall of natural rocks, adding a fireplace in our basement ++ So much fun, I really enjoy it!

    Have a great weekend Karlene!

    1. Ahhh... we have parallel projects going. My front yard is stone too. I love rocks. If they haven't been manufactured and come out of the earth, they are the longest living things on earth. Aren't they? The earth isn't making them. They are just coming to the surface.

      I bet your house and garden will be beautiful. I would love to see photos!

      Tyvek... that world giant. :)

  2. I love the idea of a secret garden courtyard. And that ivy fence is going to look amazing! In that wonderful, wet climate it will be covering the fence in no time!

  3. Wow!! It is looking good...the kitchen and the ivy holder!!!

    1. My Ivy is "thinking" about growing. Maybe it needs you to come and talk to it. :)

  4. Karlene san!!
    That is a huge project!! I wanna learn to tile fast and easy way!
    Looking forward to seeing you soon!!
    Have a great night,

    1. Hi Jun, you will come and see it soon! Looking forward to seeing you too!


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